Week 8: 21 Weeks of Prayer & Fasting
A Call to Declaration - Be Still & Know God
"Knowledge is power," Sir Francis Bacon said in the 16th century, and it is a phrase highly utilized in the secular world, though it was said by Bacon in the context of a theological discussion regarding heresies that deny the power of God. The facts we know help us make good decisions and avoid unpleasant consequences. What we know about people determines whether we call them friends or foes, whether we trust them or avoid them at all costs. In the difficult circumstances of life, what we know affects our emotions-whether we are fearful or confident, anxious or eagerly expectant.
The psalmist described such circumstances as earthquakes, mountains tumbling, waters roaring. We have all had such circumstances, and those are times when running seems the best option, doesn't it? Run away! Flee! Give up! Throw in the towel! Yet, our God calls us to a different course. "Be still and know that I am God," the Psalmist says in Chapter 46, verse 10. "Be still," not in the sense of ignoring duty, but "be still and know..." What? "That I am God." God who is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (ever present). The knowledge of God is power because God has all the power! "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." - James 1:5. The knowledge of Who God is and what He is able to do for us, in us, and through us fills us with joy, not fear, confidence not anxiety. God's Word reveals God's history with mankind, and it is ever there to remind us that where man cannot-God can. Do you know Him? Do you know of all the desperate situations in which God has intervened for mankind? For you? He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
"Be still and know that I am God." Take time to read Psalm 46. Let the word of God dwell in you richly as you are reminded that God is a "very present help in time of trouble." Very present-right here and right now. "Behold the works of the Lord..." (v. 7). Think about all that you have seen God do in history as recorded in the Bible, in American history, in your own life. Reviewing God's faithfulness in the past will renew your confidence that He still controls the future.
Are you guilty of not fully trusting that God can help you in your individual circumstances or in world events? Have you been given to despair over the state of our nation? Ask God to show you where you are not fully trusting Him. Is your distrust of Him rooted in lack of knowledge of Who He is and what He has done in the past? Consider whether you have let other activities prevent you from spending time in His Word, where his power, his character, and His presence in the world are recorded. Now is the time to change the quality of your relationship with Him. Now is the time to repent of doing life without Him beside you, an "ever present help."
Lord Jesus, show me how I have failed to trust You. Show me what has prevented me from knowing You as I should. Lord, I repent of it and I want to walk in obedience to You from now on. I confess I am guilty of not being still and spending time with You or of even asking You what I should do and how I should do it. When I am fearful, I acknowledge that fear is disbelief in Your power. I confess that too often I have sinned by resigning myself to the state of this nation, rather than asking You what You would have me do to help turn this state and this nation back to You. I confess my actions prove I have not believed Your promise that You are in control, that You are coming back, and that You will win the battle for this world. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen." I ask, You, Lord God, to show me "great and mighty things that [I] do not know,"(Jeremiah 33:3) that I might live and serve you with great faith, confidence, and joy!
Lord God Almighty, You alone are God! You are powerful, You are present, You are my refuge and my strength, an ever present help in our times of trouble. I will not fear, though the earth move and the mountains fall into the sea! I will lift up my eyes to the hills where my help comes from: my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth! You reign, Lord God, and I am your servant. Thank You, Lord, thank You, that You have chosen me in Christ Jesus to be your child and your servant! I praise You, for nothing is beyond your control and the devices of men are nothing before You. I exalt You, O Lord, among the nations! I will proclaim Your goodness, Your power, and Your love, to all the people. I will join with my brothers and sisters in proclaiming Your goodness and Your faithfulness to all the generations. Amen and amen!